Since 2011 I have been raising a heritage breed of chicken here on the old homestead. By now, 2016, a good number of babies and many descendants have come from the original trio. This story concerns one of them. Evelyn is a daughter of the original rooster, and one of the original hens. She is particularly beautiful and as close to perfect in the standard of the breed as any bird I’ve seen. She has now contributed to bringing back the breed in my neck of the woods with her own chicks and grand-chicks and great-grand-chicks. Naturally, this bird has a value to me, and for those interested in this particular breed, she is a valuable bird. But, she is a chicken. BUT! She is my chicken. And I try and care for my animals as best I can. Sometimes something goes wrong.
 
HEARTBREAK
Last summer (2015) I decided to go visit my family in another province, just for a few days, as I had not seen them in several years. I asked a friend to look after the farm and animals. I knew he was good with the animals, and would take good care of them while I was away. I kept in touch by phone and all was going well.
Then I arrived back and my farm-sitter friend picked me up at the airport and drove me back home. As we neared home he told me there was something wrong with Evelyn. With her leg. There must have been an accident, but it looked serious and had just happened the night before; he had discovered the situation before he left for the airport, so didn’t tell me until we neared my home; his rationale was there was nothing I could do about it and it would just freak me out and make the one and a half hour drive excruciating.

Well, I’m not sure I liked that approach, but I agreed I could do nothing hands-on about it until I got there and sized up the situation. As soon as the car stopped I was running to the pen where she was segregated.

Chickens have a way of finding trouble. Of course, they are very active and can get into nooks and crannies if they are wandering free. I am still not sure how Evelyn had this accident, but when I saw her hopping on one foot, and the other leg dragging behind her on the ground, my heart sank down into my boots.
I picked her up and felt her leg. Very, very carefully. It was obvious that she had broken off all or almost all the ligaments and connective tissue at the first joint (what looks like their “elbow” but is actually a heel) of the leg; this is just where the scaly leg meets the feathers. Also the thigh bone was broken right through in the middle; the only thing hold it in place was the skin. I could feel the jagged break all the way around.
 
HOW BAD THINGS CAN LOOK–AND BE
You know how the mind works. How quickly it will jump in and start analysing whatever is going on. And it’s not all a bad thing, because if your mind can actually work in circumstances such as these instead of going into panic mode, you can size things up and see what the options are in a matter of milliseconds.
So all the thoughts flooded in. And the emotions. Here was Evelyn, one of my favourite hens, one of the best hens in her breed, and young and formerly able. What a loss! What a dumb thing to happen! Why? All those feelings and thoughts swirling around. Then the knowledge of what this meant, the impossibility of a solution. I have worked with professionals in the health field, including doing writing and research on the body and injuries, and am very familiar with structures of the body and how they all work. I knew that if the connective structures in a joint have all been broken or stretched and ruined to the point where the limb is hanging loose like a pendulum–with no restrictions whatsoever to the direction it can go–I knew and know, it’s not going back to normal ever, not without major surgery, and maybe not then.

And then there was the other break in the bone itself of her upper leg. It was totally broken all the way around. I felt it, very gingerly. It could be shifted in any direction. The only thing holding the bone together was the skin, meat and tendons surrounding it. At the place of the break, it was not the biggest part of the leg, so I didn’t have to feel through much to feel the break. Picture a chicken drumstick. I know, this is not the way I like to think about my living chickens. But think of the drumstick of a chicken leg, the break was almost at the middle along the length of the bone, not the part with all the meat. 

So immediately I was flooded with despair. I considered it must be also very painful. No hope of recovery. There she was, sitting down. When she stood for some water and food, she balanced on the good leg, the other leg dragging behind her like a dead branch. Heartbreaking. I thought of the axe. The knife. The quickest way to end her misery. Starting to steel myself to have to do it.

Understand, all this is happening within a few minutes. I’m not here pondering this for an hour. In a crisis, when I’m actually in the thing and get over the initial shock, I have usually been able to have some clarity. Now I could see the options, and the only thing feasible was to put her down. Euthanasia.

THE LORD HAS SOMETHING TO SAY
Then, out of the stream of thoughts comes this other suggestion. A kind of statement of fact. “You don’t have to do that, you know.” 

When this happens, it’s not like a voice literally heard. It’s hard to explain. But here I go trying to explain it again. It’s like a thought from me, but I know it isn’t. Because it is not something I could have thought on my own. It’s not an option I believed possible. Not long ago, I would not have been able to receive this idea, as I had no experience with divine healing. But since I started to investigate what the Lord really did say about healing, and to believe, well, it’s all a whole new ball game.

So, how can I explain this? My “inner ears” kind of “perked up.” And I am thinking–my mind, my brain–is thinking “huh? what? what’s this? what do you mean?” Then I knew it was not of me, it was the Lord speaking to me through my spirit, and there is this split second delay as my mind is able to grasp the meaning of what is being “said.”

So the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, through my spirit, then through my mind, “said” the following. And it’s like this whole block of knowledge. It’s not word by word. Again, I am trying to explain it. When I spell it out in words, it’s more or less like translating. Since I have studied a couple of languages, and am fluent in one of those, I know how it is to have to translate word for word. Then there is the time, in the learning of a language when you understand in blocks, even if you don’t know every word until you analyse it. Maybe you know what I mean already. It has taken a while for me to even be able to articulate to myself what it is like. Here is what I heard:

You don’t have to kill Evelyn. She can be healed from this. You can believe and she can be totally restored to normal, with no ill effects. She can become one of your productive flock again, and be the mother of many more little chicks. What you have to do is put some kind of splint on the upper leg. And keep her in this box pen so she doesn’t move around too much for now. And pray with belief, as you’ve been learning to do. You have seen what the Lord wants to do, and will do, if we allow. You know what Jesus paid for with his death. It applies even to this. You can step out on faith and see her healed.

This was all happening, as I sat there, watching Evelyn, and my friend who gave me the bad news standing there. I am not sure what my face was showing as this was happening. It was like being there and also somewhere else.
Then I received a “picture” of Evelyn inside my mind, a picture of her, whole, and healed, walking along, absolutely nothing wrong with her whatsoever!
When I “saw” that, I knew it! I knew this was a done deal. All this took a split-second. It takes longer to tell it than it took to live it. I said “Okay, Lord! I believe!” Then I prayed over her, aloud, for her total healing and restoration. Also, that if there was any pain, that it would leave. She just looked at me. Her eyes were bright. I have her food and water, and she hobbled over and ate and drank.

FAITH TO THE TEST
Then I went to the pharmacy with my friend, and we looked for anything that could be used as a splint. He suggested a finger splint, so we got one of those and then cut the end off (the part which goes over the finger tip of the person) so there were two separate pieces to surround the leg, and velcro ties to wrap around. 

It was not easy getting it on her. I was very happy to have someone there to hold her while I did it. Not that she was uncooperative, it’s just that the “drumstick” at that part of the leg is very sloped, and the feathers are slippery. Anyway, I did get it on there, and though it took a few adjustments, I could see it was holding. 

As for the lower joint which was busted off, I didn’t do anything. There was nothing I could do for it but let it hang. I couldn’t put it “in place” as there was nothing left inside to hold anything “in place.” Besides, the Lord didn’t give me any instruction other than what I did, and I felt not to do anything with that part of the injury; I did what the Holy Spirit had relayed to me, nothing more.

So she ate. She drank. Hopped on one leg. Sat down and rested. 

I praised the Lord, and thanked Him for the healing which was given, though I didn’t see the evidence in her yet, I knew it was going to manifest in her physical form. I had the picture inside me of what the Lord showed would be the result. It was so striking, so real to me, so undeniable, that, incredibly, I was at peace. I knew it was the case that she was healed in the spiritual dimension; no evidence in the natural world was going to come against that now. In fact, I went on about my day and barely gave it a second thought, I was just grateful and happy. Not only was Evelyn being restored to full health, and the sickening event turned around, I was also seeing the work of the Lord firsthand in my life. That’s how I felt. I was able to put aside any doubt and continue on. 

Whenever a doubt tried to creep into my mind, I put it aside. I remembered what the Lord had shown me: a picture of Evelyn, on her own two feet, walking, and doing what chickens do. Healed, and for the glory of the Lord.

Well, you may be thinking, “it’s only a chicken! who cares?” Well, you must not have chickens, or at least any chickens who mean something to you.

Not a sparrow drops to the ground but the Father sees it. That’s what Jesus said.  

He made all there is, for his PLEASURE (Psalms 104:31). If you believe God made all there is, why would you think He is indifferent? Jesus said that not one sparrow falls to the ground without the Father’s knowing it.

THE PROBLEM OF PAIN & SUFFERING
Yes, we go back to this big question: the problem of pain in the world. Where is God when horrible things happen, and all that. I know. Those are the questions of existence, which have kept the philosophers busy for millennia. I can’t say I have all the answers. But this is what Jesus said about the worth of life:
29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. (New Living Translation)

Are you worth more than a sparrow?

Now, is that true? Is a human life worth more than a sparrow that drops to the ground or is taken by a hawk?

Most people would say yes. I would say yes, of course this is true.

But the point is that God also values the sparrow! Jesus was not saying, “you know a sparrow is worthless, but you are worth a lot.” No, he said even humans place a small value on a sparrow. However, the value humans put on something might not say anything about what value God puts on things. A lot of the things we value mean nothing to God. This is a topic I want to deal with in another article, so I will leave it for now.
Evelyn is a chicken. I value her, but I was not going to the vet to try and have Evelyn’s leg fixed. That kind of orthopaedic surgery would be as complicated in a bird as in a person, maybe more so for all I know. It would be very expensive. I just don’t have it to spend on a chicken, and it’s not where I think I would want to put the money if I had it. For Evelyn, I thought it was going to be euthanasia.

But thank the Lord I didn’t even have to grapple with that. Because look what happened next!

After I managed to put a splint on the break, I went my way and attended to all the other things I had to do on the farm. Tending to animals is a commitment and requires daily work. As for Evelyn, I gave her food and water, and she ate and drank readily. Amazingly, she didn’t seem in pain. She just continued eating, and then resting. I kept her well supplied with food and her pen will good straw to sit on and rest.

WHAT HAPPENED WITH EVELYN
For several days I saw no change. She was still hopping on one foot and dragging the other foot. But she was eating and drinking. This period of time did require faith, as there was no “evidence” that I could rely on to know I had actually “heard” from the Lord on the matter. Then there is this thought that keeps coming at these times (it’s always the case), which says things like: “Oh you just imagined all this. It’s not working. You must be nuts to believe this kind of thing.” 

I know these thoughts are not actually mine. I know there is another spiritual kingdom besides the good side. Yes, I’m talking about evil spiritual beings. And they operate by broadcasting thoughts such as these. Sowing seeds of discord within.

However, now I more or less expect this to happen. So I was prepared. When those thoughts came I pushed them aside. I knew they would come, and try to sabotage the good seeds which were planted. The seeds of faith, and the tender seedlings. So I turned off that switch. I said “No. I see what this is; this is not what I believe, and I reject it.”

This is actively resisting. Some, influenced by Eastern religions, and I was one of those in the past, would say it’s foolish to resist. It only strengthens what is being resisted. I reject that concept at this point. I just do not see that it is true in all cases. Yes, in some instances when you fight something, it builds power to overcome you. But there is a time to resist. Not everything is about resisting or complying, but some things are. Lack of ability to discern situations will lead to blanket solutions, such as “don’t resist.”

If you are following the Lord, you know you must resist the devil. In the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus spoke to the devil, and used truth to combat his ploys. The devil was using words and thoughts, concepts, to try and trick Jesus into doing what was just plain wrong and sin–to worship him, and to go against what God had told him.

That’s the kind of combat I’m talking about. To not give in to those thoughts of defeat, suggestions to do the wrong thing–and there is a right thing and a wrong thing–though it may be subtle. It’s not always the choice between murder or non-violence for example! That is such a black and white way to see it. That is just living by LAW, and not by GRACE. I don’t care if you are a Buddhist or a Baptist, living under law exists and it’s not the way that Jesus taught.

So I resisted those thoughts. I said “I refuse you. Leave me now, in the name of Jesus.” I spoke my faith–out loud–I spoke what I actually believe and why, and thought about what the Lord has done. I reflected on the vision he had given me inside myself–Evelyn whole and healthy. A personal vision, and it was very clear. I was not going to trash that gift. So I continued on. I praised God and thanked Him for the gifts, including healing, provided by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

So this went on for a few days. I continued to hold fast in belief. Then I noticed her splint had fallen off. I picked it up and was putting it back on her leg, very carefully. I noticed that I could not feel the bone moving around as before. But I put the splint back on anyway. I also noticed–and this blew my mind–that there seemed to be some resistance in the busted-off joint. Yes, it was still dragging, but it was not flopping around 360 degrees as before! I started thanking the Lord for the healing! It was already happening, speedily, and impossibly, considering the degree of injury.

Over the next few days I noticed more and more improvement. She started to be able to control the lower part of her leg! I felt it and there was resistance. Definitely. The tendons and ligaments of the joint which were busted off or stretched beyond repair were back and holding the joint together!

Another week went by and I took the splint off. The bones were solid. She was limping but able to move her leg–the whole thing, right to the foot–gingerly placing the foot on the ground at this time. Soon she was using it to walk, though with a limp. 

Within the space of two months she was walking without a limp. There were no signs of injury whatsoever. She was able to rejoin her mate, and has been laying eggs and living a totally normal life ever since.

It’s easy to say “oh well, it would’ve happened anyway.” At this point, that’s easy to say. If you had been there and had seen the nature of the injuries, you could never say that. The fact that it happened at all, especially in the case of the busted joint, is not physically possible. I actually kill chickens to eat them. I have raised birds for this purpose. I know what is inside that joint that was broken off, how very little holds it together in any case. I’ve cut those structures with a knife, while preparing a bird for eating, and I know that those ligaments cannot be toyed with. If they cannot hold the leg together, if they are ruptured, the bird cannot use the joint.It’s like ropes and pulley systems, holding the two bones together. If they are broken the joint is useless. If they are stretched out, like the elastic in old sweat pants, they don’t go back right. Ever. And if they are deformed, the bird is not going to be able to walk normally, if at all. It’s the same in a human. If you take a joint and break those structures that make it able to bend and move and actually holds the two bones together, that limb is useless.

Within days something that couldn’t happen did. And Evelyn has full use of her limbs, one year later, almost to the day, as it was at the end of August. The photo collage below is from photos taken of Evelyn on October 15, 2015, six weeks after the accident.
Evelyn Stepping Out
Evelyn is still going strong. Her healing is complete. She has no limp, and is totally normal, laying eggs and producing many chicks this summer–chicks who would not be here if the Lord had not worked a miracle.
Some people think a miracle happens instantaneously. Sometimes they do! That’s the way Jesus was able to operate. And sometimes things still do happen instantly, despite the human instrument. We get in the way and block what God gives, and has already given to those who believe–those the Lord calls his children. I don’t understand it all by far. I do know that belief has to be there–someone has to believe! It doesn’t necessarily have to be the one being healed. Evelyn didn’t participate in believing, to my knowledge. A dead person who is raised to life is not believing for that.

So far I have seen five healing miracles with my chickens alone. If healing is there for chickens–blind chickens, sick chickens, chickens with head injuries and lame chickens–it is there for anything, and anyone. God’s gifts are not dependent on our goodness. A gift is a gift, it cannot be earned. None of us deserves any of it! But that’s okay, because the Father is generous and has provided everything we might need, through the Son, Jesus Christ.

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